Kawhi Leonard And Paul George Are Finally On The Court Together Playing Elite | Time For The Clippers To Make A Move

The Los Angeles Clippers are on a bit of a roll, winners of three straight, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are finally on the floor together and looking elite. With the potential for both players to be free agents in 2024, it’s time for the Clippers to make a move.

Do Clippers Need Another Superstar? 

In the three seasons since the Clippers signed Leonard and George, the team lost in the conference semifinals, lost in the conference finals, and failed to make the playoffs. Both players have missed significant time with injuries during that stretch, and those results are underwhelming.

The Clippers have weathered the early storm of the NBA season with Leonard being out and inconsistent play. They are in fifth place in a tight Western Conference and only a game behind the free-falling New Orleans Pelicans, who are in fourth.

Over his past seven games, Leonard’s averaged 29.9 points with elite efficiency and 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.9 steals. With Leonard getting back to his two-way dominance and George playing like an All-Star or better, the Clippers need to take advantage in a year where the conference has no truly dominant team.

The Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies are the class of the conference but not unbeatable.

Who Do The Clippers Go Get In A Trade? 

Given that the Clippers have mortgaged away their future first round draft picks (they don’t have a first until 2027), all they have are moveable contracts attached to good players. They could consolidate and look to acquire a point guard upgrade over Reggie Jackson and a backup center for Ivica Zubac.

If they really want to go all in and acquire a center like Myles Turner, it will cost them Robert Covington or Marcus Morris Sr., plus salary filler and their 2027 first-round pick. Will that be enough to acquire him? Or do they set their sights on San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, who would cost less?

Kelly Olynyk, Naz Reid, and Mason Plumlee would all cost even less than Poeltl and might leave more in the cupboard to secure a point guard.

Does Mike Conley move the needle enough?

Steady vet who will get you into good offense in the half-court, an excellent decision-maker and 37 percent three-point shooter. He’s not as good on defense as he was in his prime, but not a liability.

Could Fred Van Vleet be an option? The Toronto Raptors are struggling and might look to move him and OG Anunoby and rebuild around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes.

What would it take to get Van Vleet? Salary to match in the form of expiring deals, and a second? A first? Would the Clippers think about parting with Terance Mann? Someone the Raptors would likely covet. Van Vleet and Leonard won a title together in Toronto, so it’s not farfetched.

Clippers Have Salary Flexibility For Major Trade

The Clippers have a range of salaries to utilize and potentially combine to make just about any incoming contract work. John Wall ($6.5 million) and Jackson ($11.2 million) give the Clippers two expiring contracts to work with, while Morris ($16.4 million), Luke Kennard ($13.7 million), and Covington ($12.3 million) can become free agents in 2024.

Whatever they decide, the time is now. Leonard has a lengthy injury history, and when he and George signed in Los Angeles as free agents the goal was to win a championship. They made it to the conference finals. But they need to push all their chips in and try and win it this year.


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